Locals hit the trails to explore their own backyards.
By Somer Tejwani
An avid trailblazer since childhood, Geo Moskios has spent the past 40 years trekking across Laguna Beach’s wilderness, both alone and as a leader of guided groups. Thoroughly versed in the benefits of regular hiking, Geo also is a yoga pioneer whose faithful devotees include celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Salma Hayek and Oprah Winfrey. His expertise in both fields led to the establishment of residential wellness retreat The Pearl Laguna, which incorporates both hiking and yoga, along with spiritual meditation, massage, mindful eating and cleansing. Geo says hiking is a fundamental aspect of The Pearl Laguna because it keeps people healthy, mobile and connected to their surroundings. “Keep moving and use it till you lose it,” he advises his recruits.
Laguna Beach Magazine: What do you love about hiking?
Geo Moskios: As humans, we are designed to walk, but we’re not designed to walk on a flat, straight surface—this is why getting outdoors, away from pollution and hiking are great ways to live as naturally as possible.
LBM: Where locally do you love to hike?
GM: At The Pearl we hike seven days per week. We have thousands of acres of wilderness here in Laguna, but I like hiking Top of the World, Big Bend Loop and the Laguna Ridge Trail.
LBM: For those of us who are new to hiking, what are your tips for starting out?
GM: We always tell people to start slow, build a rhythm and slow down if you are out of breath. Breath is the most important thing. It should be smooth and even, and many people don’t take a deep enough breath. Breathe deeply down into your belly.
LBM: How long should we be hiking for?
GM: Most of our hikes at The Pearl are about three to 3.5 hours. Most people will hike about 3 miles per hour.
LBM: You’ve been hiking here for decades; so, what types of wildlife do you see on a day-to-day basis?
GM: There is so much wildlife out there. I’ve seen bobcats, coyotes, deer, rabbits and squirrels—and be careful not to step on snakes out there!
LBM: Do you recommend hiking alone or with a buddy?
GM: I hike alone, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you should take someone with you and bring your cellphone.
LBM: Any tips for what hikers should bring or wear when embarking on a hike?
GM: I’m shocked that on a hot day hikers are dressed in black with no hat and no water—it’s absolutely crazy. It’s important to wear light-colored clothing, pack plenty of water and [bring] something to eat.
LBM: What types of shoes do you recommend?
GM: Breathable, lightweight hiking shoes. Get them a full size bigger than what you normally wear, and make sure the width is correct.
Rough it in style with premium hiking gear from local outfitters.
By Somer Tejwani
Athleta Hiking Shorts
Fashion Island (949-717-6650; athleta.gap.com)